June 1 is graduation night at Wilde Lake High School. For seniors, it is a venerable ritual, a time of carefree celebration, and the beginning of the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. It is one of those eventful moments, frozen in time, which will always be remembered.
Unfortunately, for parents and students, there is also a downside. Because of the celebratory nature of graduation night, there is a tendency toward drug or alcohol use.
Hoping to make graduation night safe for Wilde Lake seniors this year, a coalition of parents, teachers and community leaders has teamed with students to promote a chemical-free evening.
The Chemical Free Graduation Committee -- headed by Brian and Jennefer England, and Judy Smith-Gingras -- has joined forces with the 1993 Wilde Lake Senior Class Council and a committee of concerned parents to provide an evening of chemical-free activities.
These activities will include an evening reception for graduates, their families and friends, followed by a midnight cruise in Baltimore harbor. It is hoped that up to 80 percent of the graduating class will participate.
The total cost of the 1993 Chemical Free Graduation is estimated at $7,500.
This includes bus transportation, cruise ship rental, food, music and other miscellaneous costs.
The cost to students is only $10. The balance will be underwritten through the continuing fund-raising efforts of the Chemical Free Graduation Committee and the 1993 Senior Class Council.
Those individuals and businesses wishing to make contributions to assure a safe graduation evening for Wilde Lake High School seniors may call the Englands at 740-0655 or Ms. Smith-Gingras at 997-5102.
A few months back, I mentioned a book, "Federal Jobs for College Graduates," written by Harper's Choice resident Dana Morgan.
The book, which offers solid information on how to search out and get a federal job, has sold quite well, and has become something of an icon for recent graduates in search of a career in the federal government.
Ms. Morgan, who served as a recruitment specialist for the federal government, now runs her own consulting firm and lectures on how to find jobs in the government workplace.
On Sunday, Ms. Morgan will be at the Cover to Cover Bookstore Cafe in Owen Brown Village Center from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
On May 22, she will present a Federal Careers Workshop at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Additional information on this workshop is available by calling 740-1998.
L While on the subject of job hunting, what about summer jobs?
Many high school and college students depend on the money earned in summer jobs to build a financial nest egg to carry them through the rest of the year.
Those interested in finding work this summer should plan to attend a class, called "How To Get a Summer Job," taught by Dr. Martha Gagnon at the Meeting Room in Dorsey's Search Town Center on May 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The class will cover where and how to look for a job, how to present yourself to prospective employers, and what to expect at job interviews.
The cost of the class is $15. For more information or to register, call 730-4005.
The Slayton House Gallery in Wilde Lake Village Green continues a fine Columbia cultural tradition of presenting the art works of local, regional and nationally known artists.
Beginning today, and running through June 1, recent works of Riverdale artists Maxine Taylor and Jane Wall will be exhibited in the Bill White Room Galleries and the lobby.
There will be an opening reception Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Classical guitarist Don Miller will perform.
The public is invited to attend the reception.
Here are questions, in some cases paraphrased for clarity, that are being asked by some of my West Columbia friends and neighbors:
* While riding with a friend past the old Allview golf course clubhouse on Columbia Road: "Why is CA insistent upon building what will be an inferior golf course on the very site of an excellent golf course they wantonly destroyed only a few years ago?"
* While outside with a neighbor on a warm spring evening: "After the glaring inequities exposed in the recent Columbia Council elections, and despite how the election laws read, will those involved have the moral fortitude to undo an obvious injustice?"
* While on the phone with the mother of a Wilde Lake High School student: "If the continuing bickering over school redistricting isn't racially and status-motivated, then what is the real justification behind it?"
Anyone with answers, please let me know, and I'll pass them on.